As the summary of the established jurisprudence in Winnipeg Child and Family Services v. A. (J.) et al. at ¶ 34 tells us: There is no freestanding “right to counsel” protected by the Charter. Instead, the Charter recognizes the right of a person to receive a fair hearing when confronted by the state, which, in some cases, will require the assistance of counsel. In those cases where a court decides that a person requires the assistance of a lawyer to ensure a fair hearing, a limited right to state-funded counsel arises under s. 7 of the Charter. This right allows provision of publicly funded counsel to guarantee a fair trial in serious and complex cases where the accused cannot afford to pay and has been refused legal aid.
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